Hokkaido events, Hakodate, Kushiro, Hokkaido nightlife

Best 3 Event Guide to Must-See Events in Hokkaido April 2018 (w/Photos)

Hokkaido is located in the most northern part of Japan. As such, it’s a great place to escape the heat in the summer. During the winter, you can ski or try other winter sports. Hokkaido is also known for having great food, including fresh seafood, and cities like Hakodate and Sapporo are popular sightseeing destinations. In this article, we’ll feature events in April that will provide the full Hokkaido experience.

Contemporary Art Events

1. Nighttime Illumination of Cherry Blossoms Goryokaku Park Late April 2018 through Mid May 2018

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source: PHOTOGRAPH.PRO
Goryokaku Park is a star-shaped fort that was built to protect the northern territories; it was modeled after French castles and is the first of its kind in Japan. The park has been designated as a special historic site by the government. The park is also known as the former site for the Battle of Hakodate (1868-1869), which was the final battle between the ruling regime and insurgent forces at the time. Goryokaku Park is a hot-spot for viewing cherry blossoms and the park buzzes with local residents come late April when the Yoshino cherries are in full bloom. About 1,600 Yoshino cherry trees bloom during peak season. At this time, the cherry trees will be illuminated at night. While the scale of the event, by itself, is worth a look, the scene of cherry trees filling the star-shaped grounds and transforming the site into a “castle of flowers” is another reason to visit.

Schedule

・Event Date and Time

Late April 2018 through mid-May 2018

Illuminations: weekdays 19:00 – 21:00; weekends and holidays 19:00 – 22:00
*Note that event term may shift depending on blooming conditions

Access and Address

・Location
Goryokaku Park

・Directions and Travel Time from Closest Station
15-minute walk from “Goryokaku Koen-mae” stop on the city train

・Directions and Travel Time from Closest Hub Station
30 minutes from JR Hakodate Station on Hakodate Main Line via city train

・Address 44 Goryokaku-cho, Hakodate-shi, Hokkaido
・Map

Admission and Reservation

Free admission and reservations are not required

Official Website

https://www.hakobura.jp/

Nature Events

2. Matsumae Sakura Festival April 28, 2018 through May 13, 2018

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source:Hakobura

Matsumae is located in the south-west part of Hokkaido and is the only town in Hokkaido with a castle. Matsumae Park, which is located by Matsumae Castle, has been selected as one of the 100 best places to see cherry blossoms in Japan and boasts 10,000 cherry trees, including 250 different varietals, in the spacious grounds that measure 235,000 square meters. There are early, average, and late blooming varietals and you can view the blossoms over a 1-month period. Coinciding with the cherry blossoms, the park will host the Sakura Festival. The festival will feature various performances, including a parade of warriors wearing samurai armor and shows of local traditional arts, in addition to booths selling local delicacies. Take in the cherry blossoms and enjoy a spring-filled day.

Schedule

April 28, 2018 through May 13, 2018

Times differ by individual event

Access and Address

・Location
Matsumae Park

・Directions and Travel Time from Closest Station
Immediately by the “Matsushiro” bus stop

・Directions and Travel Time from Closest Hub Station
1 hour and 30 minutes by bus from Kikonai Station

・Address Matsushiro, Matsumae-cho, Hokkaido
・Map

Admission and Reservation

Free admission and reservations are not required

Official Website

http://www.asobube.com/

Family Events

3. Kushiro-shi Zoo Spring Zoo Festival April 28, 2018 through May 6, 2018

src_48763258source:4travel.jp

Kushiro Zoo is massive, measuring 47.8 hectares. It’s the biggest zoo in Hokkaido and also the eastern-most zoo in Japan. The zoo houses about 390 animals, including an African Porcupine, Siberian Tiger, and Alpaca. During Golden Week, the zoo hosts a festival, where you can experience sheep shearing, see the naming of owls born the previous year, and participate in various other events, including an animal quiz, at the stage area. The zoo has plenty of other attractions that’ll entertain you throughout the day, including a theme park with a Ferris-wheel, a nature walk where you can explore wetland habitats, and an exhibit hall where you can see models of owls and try animal quizzes.

Schedule

April 28, 2018 through May 6, 2018
9:30 – 16:30 (last entry is at 16:30)

Access and Address

・Location
Kushiro-shi Zoo

・Directions and Travel Time from Closest Station
Immediately by the “Dobutsuen” bus stop

・Directions and Travel Time from Closest Hub Station
1 hour from Kushiro Station by Akan Bus

・Address 11 Shimoninishibetsu, Akan-cho, Kushiro-shi, Hokkaido
・Map

Admission and Reservation

Admission: Adults 570 yen; free for middle school students and younger

Reservations are not required

Official Website

http://www.city.kushiro.lg.jp/zoo/event/cat00000914.html

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